It’s tax time here for the executive office industry! So it probably is for you too, and if you thought preparing your personal taxes was difficult, wait until you take on the maze of forms and regulations necessary for filing taxes for your business. Tax conundrums are abundant, but so are solutions. Here are some suggestions to get your business pointed in the right direction.
Get organized - Keep good records and save your receipts. Money Start Here founder Denise Winston suggests thinking of receipts as cash instead of trash. Up to 50% of each business expense can be recouped when filing your taxes. The only way to cash in on that bonus is by keeping receipts, like from a conference or meeting room rental expense.
Set up an accounting program – It is essential that you can asses your finances and track your money. Accounting software like Quickbooks is an easy, cost-effective way to do this. Having a proper accounting method will lead to good record-keeping and more deductions at tax time.
Learn what you can deduct - IRS guidelines allow you to deduct any expense that is “ordinary and necessary to your trade or business.” This means almost any business expense is deductible, whether it be a box of paper clips or even office space rental. So every time you make a purchase consider if you’re buying the item or service for your company.
Hire a professional – If you’re in a serviced office space, available business support services may be particularly useful during tax-filing time. Otherwise a tax professional and attorney are just part of the costs of doing business. So try not to think of the upfront cost; but focus instead on the time and money you’ll save by having an expert team guide you through the process.
Pay yourself – Pay yourself by setting up a retirement account such as an IRA. This allows you to invest pre-tax money toward your retirement. Even if your contributions start out small, having something to build on is better than being without a retirement nest egg. Your financial consultant can help determine which method of saving is best for you.
These tips are just the beginning. There are many free resources online to help you prepare to file your taxes. The IRS and Small Business Association are among the organizations that offer assistance. If you take advantage of these tips and all of the resources at your disposal, filing your taxes will be a breeze.